The Pinewood Hotel Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Rachel & Dom

Rachel & Dom are getting married later this year at The Pinewood Hotel which is where we are for this pre-wedding photoshoot.

They had quickly outlined that they want relaxed, naturally posed photos so we choose secluded spots around the gardens so they felt comfortable to show me what they could do. They quickly relaxed in front of my camera once we had reviewed some of their photos and talked about the process taking place – entirely what I’d consider to be the key point of a pre-wedding photoshoot (as well as getting some superb portraits together!).

Here’s a small selection of Rachel & Dom’s set:

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Castlefield, Manchester Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Amanda & Simon’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Amanda & Simon met with me in Manchester city centre for their pre-wedding photoshoot to get a flavour of how I work on a portrait session and to build a bit of photo confidence ahead of their Lake District wedding in the summer. Starting in a secluded spot around Castlefield meant we could run through posing at their own speed before heading further into Manchester on a route which led to the beautiful photos you see below. It was also great to see this lovely couple become comfortable enough to choose poses themselves, allowing me to shoot unobtrusively and keep the photography fun, relaxed and natural.

See Amanda & Simon’s wedding day photographs here.

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Hove Seafront Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Gemma & Joe’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

When you photograph weddings, you always need to stay flexible as anything could (and often does) happen – this means I’m used to a change of plans and Gemma and Joe’s pre-wedding photoshoot is a very good case in point!

The plan was to meet these lovely people north of Brighton at the top of Devil’s Dyke in East Sussex for their photoshoot, but the thick fog meant that Gemma, Joe and I ended up bringing it all the way down to Hove seafront instead. I feel blessed that they made such a good alternate choice because we got to have rows of pretty beach huts, gently rusting promenade shelters and Brighton’s skeletal West Pier in on the photos too!

See Gemma & Joe’s wedding day photographs here.

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Arundel, West Sussex Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Louise & Dave’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

A wedding dress fitting in Arundel, West Sussex meant that Louise and Dave would be perfectly placed for us to use this historic town as the backdrop for their pre-wedding photoshoot. Arundel is a little further from home for me but having such an attractive setting for photos meant that Louise, Dave and I could get down to the business of enjoying an easy-going and fun photoshoot. We packed a lot in, visiting the River Arun, a 13th Century Friary and some rolling Sussex countryside all in the shadow of that magnificent castle. I cannot wait to photograph this wonderful couple’s wedding later in the month and hope to have as many laughs as I had on this photoshoot!

See Louise & Dave’s wedding day photographs here.

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The Pinewood Hotel Pre-Wedding Photoshoot ~ Dan Barlow

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Kaz & Jon’s Pre-Wedding Photoshoot

Here’s a little selection from Kaz & Jon’s pre-wedding photoshoot at The Pinewood where they’ll be getting married later this year. Visiting the wedding venue provided us with time to fine tune their wedding photography plans and gave us a great feel for how we’ll use the outdoor space on the day; it also helped Kaz & Jon to build a bit of camera confidence
The stunning blossom budding on the trees was an unexpectedly welcome sight and knew it would be a beautiful backdrop, unique to this time of year.

See Kaz & Jon’s wedding day photographs here.

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Why bother with a pre-wedding photoshoot?

‘I hate having my pictures taken’

‘I never like the way I look in photos’

Most of the brides and grooms that approach me usually say something along these lines and most of the time, they can’t put their finger on what it is they don’t like about seeing themselves in photos. The pre-wedding photoshoot, engagement photoshoot or ‘e-shoot’ as they are also known, seeks to address these issues and allows you both to be comfortably posed, have your photo taken and build confidence in front of the camera.

Couple in Bramhall Park on e-shoot

Couple on pre-wedding photo shoot Bramhall Park

A pre-wedding photoshoot gives you the time to be guided through the process of having a posed photo taken without worrying about running out of time, it’s also a useful experience to bear in mind when planning how much time will be required for portraits on the day.

Engagement shoot couple in Dunham Massey

Pre-wedding photoshoot in Dunham Massey

Engaging you in the photographic process is very important for us both, you have instant access to the images taken and I can listen to your feedback there and then. I can see what posing you are comfortable with and we can work around any worries you may have, reducing any doubts about how the pictures will look on your wedding day.

Couple in Walkden Gardens on pre-wedding photoshoot

Sometimes, I find that once I’ve posed you both, the thing which you didn’t like about other photos simply isn’t there through my experience of careful posing, composition and correct choice of photographic equipment.

Couple outside Tatton Hall on e-shoot

Couple in Tatton Park on engagement shoot

Where do these worries come from? Maybe, in this digital age, photography is more throwaway that it’s ever been. Digital photography allows us to take a greater volume of photos, but as you know, quality and quantity are not the same thing. Perhaps there’s a belief that the camera will take care of the final image. Most camera phones come with a wide angle lens which isn’t the best for portraits; couple this with photos taken from unflattering angles with poor lighting, bad flash and no editing and the likelihood of seeing an undesirable photo goes up. My posing, composition, equipment choices and post-processing mean the situation described above is avoided entirely!

Couple by beach huts on e-shoot

Couple by beach huts on pre-wedding shoot

Couple on Aldwick beach on pre-wedding photoshoot

The pre-wedding photoshoot is an important tool in reassuring you that you’ll both look fabulous on your big day, allowing you to relax in front of my camera and best of all, you’ll have some beautiful portrait photos together from the session.

Tatton Park Pre-wedding photo shoot